Give Your Kitchen a Makeover

What do you do when it’s time to replace an old kitchen? Where do you even begin?

I recently faced this challenge. Realizing that my kitchen needed to be replaced was the easy part. Figuring out what I wanted to do proved to be daunting. My current kitchen is a vintage 1970’s no-particular-style kitchen. Not your dream kitchen by any standards.

The cost to gut and completely redo the kitchen was staggering. Literally. I actually staggered around the kitchen when presented with the final estimate. Clearly, putting in a new kitchen was not going to be an option.

Prowling through the library stacks, I struck gold. Our shelves are chock-full of great idea books and among them I discovered the solution to my dilemma.

The before and after photos were inspiring. I marveled at the creativity and ingenuity of do-it-yourselfers who tackled their old kitchens. The books are worth a look just for the pictures of the incredible renovations. The clever uses of space and color were amazing and the costs were reasonable. I began to look at my kitchen in a whole new way.

And what were the solutions? Paint the cabinets. Install new hardware. Put in a new backsplash. New tiles on the floor. A few nights and weekends, a lot of sweat equity and—voila! What looks and feels like a new kitchen.

Need some kitchen inspiration? Try these titles:

kitchen ideaCountry Living: 500 Kitchen Ideas: Style, Function & Charm from the editors of Country Living Magazine; text by Dominique DeVito

Do it Yourself Kitchens: Stunning Spaces on a Shoestring Budget from Better Homes and Gardens

Kitchen Ideas You Can Use: Inspiring Designs & Clever Solutions for Remodeling Your Kitchen by Chris Peterson

Kitchen Idea Book by Joanne Kellar Bouknight

Affordable Kitchen Upgrades: Transform Your Kitchen on a Small Budget by Steve Cory and Diane Slavik

New Kitchen Ideas that Work by Jamie Gold

It’s Spring! Great Time for Outdoor Projects

The snow is melting, the days are getting longer, it’s a little warmer outside and …wait!  That deck is looking a little weary.  Maybe you want to add a deck or patio.  Or how about a nice shed to store all your miscellaneous stuff?  The Cheshire Library has a great selection of books that will help you plan and execute your ideas for great decks, patios and sheds.


Deck Planner: 25 outstanding decks you can build –Scott Millard

The Complete Guide to Building Decks: a step-by-step manual for building basic and advanced decks

Deck Ideas That Work Peter Jeswald

Decks: plan, design and build Steve Corey

For additional titles, look in our non-fiction department under 690.893.


The Complete Guide to Patios: plan, build and maintainPhilip Schmidt

Patios and Walkways

The Complete Guide to Patios and Walkways: money saving do-it-yourself projects for improving outdoor living space

Walls, Walks & Patios: plan, design, build

For additional titles, look in our non-fiction department under 690.892.


The Versatile Shed: how to build, renovate, customize

Building A Shed: expert advice from beginning to end Joseph Truini

Shed Nation: design, build and customize the perfect shed for your yardDan Eckstein

Sheds: the do-it-yourself guide for backyard buildersDavid Stiles

For additional titles, look in our non-fiction department under 690.892.

And for a smaller project, try building a birdhouse/feeder.

Build Your Own Birdhouses and Feeders John Perkins

How To Build Birdhouses and FeedersStephen Moss

For additional titles, look in our non-fiction department under 690.8927.